Residential schools were government-sponsored schools established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian society. Canadians have largely recognized that the residential school policy was a form of cultural genocide. They were first established after 1880. The last residential school in Canada didn’t close until 1996.
“…wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country.”
In 2008 Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized on behalf of the Government of Canada to all former students of residential schools in Canada. The apology openly recognized that the assimilation policy on which the schools were established was “wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country”. The apology recognized the profoundly damaging and lasting impact the schools had on Indigenous culture, heritage and language and was one of the steps that the government has taken to forge a new relationship with Indigenous peoples in Canada.
“The ultimate goal of the TRC is to “hope, guide and inspire”…”
In June 2008 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was officially established. Upon closing in 2015, the commission issued a document identifying 94 “Calls to Action”. The mandate of the TRC is to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools (IRS).
The ultimate goal of the TRC is to “hope, guide and inspire” First Nations peoples and Canadians “in a process of reconciliation and renewed relationships that are based on mutual understanding and respect”.